In August 2005, I was sent to Colombo, Sri Lanka for an official assignment. I stayed at the Colombo Hilton for a couple of nights. At this time, Sri Lanka was still at war.
From my hotel room, I was able to see the port as well as part of the city.
In 2005, Colombo did not have many tall buildings.
In fact, you can see a lot of open spaces.
Below is the picture of the secondary entrance to the Colombo Hilton.
Security was tight. Every 200 metre of so there was a police roadblock. There is also a permanent barrier at the centre of the road so that no one can cross the road anywhere they like. They should have this concept in Kuala Lumpur.
The hotel is close to the beach. The first evening, I went for a walk. This is a picture of me next to an old cannon.
Suprisingly there was no one on the beach even though it was just in the late afternoon. Until today I don't know why it is that quiet.
The traffic jam in Colombo was legendary. With the countless roadblocks, movement was at a snail pace.
Colombo has a lot of colonial buildings. Here is one of them.
As Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, you can see a lot of stupas around the city. Here is one of them.
Unique mode of public transport in Colombo is the motor scooter.
Sri Lanka is home to Noritake, the world famous bone china manufacturer. I visited one of the showrooms and I was able to get some pictures. Beautiful procelain pieces.
The Colombo Hilton is quarded by the military. Here I am with one of the army men toting an AK47.
The hotel has a happening Blue Elephant Bar. Here I am listening to some live music.
At night, I expected it to be brighter but it wasn't.
Below is the picture of the twin financial center buildings.
I was told that this restaurant is famous for its sea food. Personally, it wasn't that interesting.
A number of new buildings being built.
Colombo appears to be frozen in time. It looks like how Kuala Lumpur was in the early 1970s. Below is a typical "shopping mall" in 2005.
One of the bigger shopping mall - similar in size and concept to our old Ampang Park.
How cute. High powered branding but in fact factual in its discription - out of a wall and you eat on the street!